Technical Publications By and About Orenco

Technical Publications by Orenco Engineers

Here are a few of our most frequently requested conference papers, white papers, and technology fact sheets. You can find more of these, as well as technical data for all our products, in our Document Library.

Septic Tanks

Watertight Septic Tanks: No More Excuses
Eric S. Ball, PE
Watertight tanks are essential to proper performance of any wastewater treatment system. This paper describes why and suggests procedures for testing tanks during installation.

Septic Tank Septage Pumping Intervals
Terry R. Bounds, PE
Arbitrarily short pumping intervals distort the cost of effluent sewers. This paper presents methods to enable designers, regulators, and operations personnel to size tanks relative to occupancy loading, to achieve adequate hydraulic retention times for settlement of solids, to determine a tank’s optimum effluent withdrawal level, and to predict septage pumping intervals.

Design and Performance of Septic Tanks
Terry R. Bounds, PE
There is a good reason why, in this age of advanced technology, the septic tank is still in use: it works. This paper describes principles for the design, construction, installation, and loading of concrete or fiberglass septic tanks.

Glide Audit 1986-1987 Summary of Sludge and Scum Accumulation Rates
Terry R. Bounds, PE
At the time of its completion in 1980, the pressure sewer serving Glide, Oregon, was the largest STEP system in North America. Data from this system can be used to calculate appropriate pumpout intervals.

Effluent Pumping Systems

Pressure Dosing: Attention to Detail
Eric S. Ball, PE
This paper presents the advantages of pressure dosing and how to design systems that incorporate pumps or siphons.

Design, Use and Installation of Dosing Siphons for On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems
Eric S. Ball, PE
Siphons convert small, continuous flows into large, intermittent dosing flows. They are a cost-effective alternative to pumps in many situations, especially in remote areas and at sites where electricity is difficult to obtain.

Pumps, Controls and Regulations
Terry R. Bounds, PE
Pumps, controls, alarms, and sensors function together in onsite treatment systems. The selection and features of these items are as important as watertight tanks to the reliability and performance of onsite systems.

Orenco Automatic Distributing Valve Assemblies
Our automatic distributing valve assemblies, pressurized with small, high-head effluent pumps, are useful for distributing effluent to multiple zones.

Effluent Sewers

Septic Tank Effluent Pump Systems
Harold L. Ball, PE and Terry R. Bounds, PE
Septic tank effluent pump (STEP) systems are increasingly being recognized as the preferred and most economical method of collecting and transporting partially treated wastewater to a treatment facility.

STEP Systems: Glide's Contribution to the State of the Art
Terry R. Bounds, PE
Since 1976, the 2,319-unit STEP system that serves Glide and Idleyld Park, Oregon, has provided a model for other systems in small communities.

Sustainable Wastewater Systems
Geoff Salthouse
Decentralized wastewater management is beginning to get the attention it deserves because of its potential for economic and environmental sustainability. Orenco Effluent Sewers and AdvanTex Treatment Systems meet the requirements of sustainability by protecting the “triple bottom line” of social, environmental, and financial benefits.

Choosing Your Community Wastewater System: A Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
Tyler Molatore, PE
Upfront cost differences are misleading, because they only represent one part of the overall cost of a wastewater system. A life-cycle cost analysis takes all costs into account, which makes it an invaluable tool when selecting a system.

Small Community Collection Systems: Construction Costs
Orenco has collected and analyzed constructed costs from more than forty collection systems serving small communities. On average, Orenco Effluent Sewers cost 41% less than gravity sewers. 

O&M Considerations for STEP Systems
Mike Saunders
Significant O&M cost savings can be achieved by focusing on a few major elements within your STEP system.

20-Year Life-Cycle Analysis of an Effluent Sewer
Bill Cagle, Terry Cargil, and Roger Dickinson
The city of Lacey, Washington worked with Orenco to conduct a 20-year life-cycle analysis of its sewer system. The analysis demonstrated that the life-cycle costs of Lacey's STEP sewer are clearly lower than those of a typical gravity sewer.

Textile Filters

Performance of Textile-Based Packed Bed Filters
Terry R. Bounds, PE
Textile-based packed bed filters, which use a manufactured media that is easily serviced and capable of producing high quality effluent, have greatly expanded packed bed technology options.

Sand Filters

Design Criteria for Recirculating Sand Filters
Terry R. Bounds, PE
Recirculating sand filters (RSF's) are a popular means of wastewater treatment for sites with medium to large wastewater flows. They are ideal systems for parks, restaurants, schools, office complexes, large developments, and communities with effluent sewer systems.

Design of Recirculating Sand Filters Using a Standardized Methodology
Jeffrey L. Ball, PE and Grant D. Denn
This standard method for designing sand filters allows modular filters to be constructed while reducing costs associated with equipment, installation, and operations.

Sand Filters and Shallow Drainfields
Harold L. Ball, PE
Low maintenance, reliability, and reasonable cost have made sand filters an ideal choice for wastewater disposal in areas where sewers are not available and conventional septic tank-drainfield systems are not feasible. 

Optimizing the Performance of Sand Filters and Packed Bed Filters
Harold L. Ball, PE
To understand how filter media and dosing methods affect performance, it's instructive to review some of the conditions essential for a properly operating sand filter.


Public Confidence in Onsite Systems Requires Field Testing and Field Standards for Performance
Nicholas Noble
Bench tests evaluate systems under conditions that are not similar to what the system would experience in the real world. They are not capable of reliably gauging how a product will perform in multiple installations with highly variable, real-world conditions. A robust field test standard would allow governments and homeowners to feel confident about relying on advanced onsite treatment.

Maintaining and Troubleshooting Advanced Onsite Systems
Terry R. Bounds, PE; Grant D. Denn; N. Tristian Bounds
Written for service providers, this paper offers an overview of how to assess indicators of subpar performance, discover their causes, and correct them.

Other Design Resources

Document Library